WHACKING on a Yuletide playlist seems like fun, but before you know it you’re listening to lyrics about war, suffering and death. Here are the gloomiest:
Do they Know it’s Christmas?
Band Aid raised a lot of money for a good cause, but this is a miserable song that features Bono hysterically screaming ‘well tonight thank god it’s them, instead of you’. That seems to be the kind of attitude that got us into a state of global inequality in the first place.
Stop the Cavalry
With all the fun of those ‘dub-a-dub-dum’s, it’s easy to forget that this one is about a First World War soldier writing to his girlfriend, who’s… in a nuclear fallout zone? Metaphorical eternal unknown soldiers engaged in endless war can kill the Christmas vibe a bit.
Little Drummer Boy
This one has a surfeit of entertaining ‘pa-rum-pum-pum-pum’s, but that’s hiding a song about a little boy so poor he has nothing to give the baby Jesus but his drumming. Not only is that pretty bleak, you’ll struggle to think of a worse birthday present for a baby than a small child with a drum kit. Mary would have kicked off.
Happy Xmas (War is Over)
Not only is he indirectly responsible for the celebrity Imagine video, Lennon is also to blame for that wonderfully festive lyric ‘Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear’. No one was associating Christmas with fear until you kept bringing it up, John.
Fairytale of New York
It’s not just the depressing story of how the passage of time turns infatuation into bitterness, bickering and alcohol abuse. It’s also the fact that these ungrateful pricks are able to prance around in a bar on Christmas Eve without the slightest worry about Covid. They don’t know how good they have it.
Walking in the Air
Set to an already un-jolly tune, the melancholy voice of a tiny Aled Jones instantly causes flashbacks to the childhood trauma of watching a magical Snowman melt and die every Christmas Day for years. Plus it’s impossible to dance to.